If you are teaching students remotely and looking for ways to get them engaged, a Zoom scavenger hunt is a great idea! A Zoom scavenger hunt can be used for educational purposes to reinforce standards. Scavenger hunt games can also be used to teach social-emotional learning (SEL) or as a fun way to get your students to interact while social distancing.
Keep in mind that even though the title says “Zoom” scavenger hunt ideas, these scavenger hunt ideas can be used with any video conferencing software you use to teach students. This can include programs such as Google Meet, Google Hangout, Teams, Skype, and Flipgrid.
I’ve talked to many teachers who are interested in virtual scavenger hunts but aren’t sure how they work or what to have students look for. In this post, I’ll share the best ways to run your virtual scavenger hunts and lots of fun scavenger hunt ideas! You can also check out this video I made for even more ideas.
How Does a Zoom Scavenger Hunt Work?
A Zoom scavenger hunt is similar to any other scavenger hunt. The difference is each student is searching for items in their own space and sharing their findings virtually. Here are the steps I use for any virtual scavenger hunt:
- Tell students what to find or give students a clue.
- Set a timer. I recommend 30 to 60 seconds.
- Students get up to look for an item to go with the clue.
- Students must be sitting in their seats with their items when the timer goes off or they are disqualified from the round. This prevents the game from lasting forever and having the rest of the class waiting for one student.
- Students share their findings.
Another option is to give students a list of items and set the timer for a longer period of time. Then, students search for as many items from the list as possible within the given amount of time.
Before starting a virtual scavenger hunt, it is a good idea to establish some rules and review those rules with the students. Even though students are learning remotely, they still need clear expectations for any assignment. I recommend the following rules:
- Students cannot get out of their seats until the timer starts.
- Students must be back in their seats when the timer goes off.
- Students should not take or touch anything that they are not supposed to.
- Students should always practice safety when looking around their homes.
Virtual Math Scavenger Hunt:
Now that you know how a Zoom scavenger hunt works, let’s get into the fun stuff… scavenger hunt ideas! There are lots of scavenger hunt games you can use to reinforce math skills. For example:
- Measurement: Have students look for items that describe different measurements. You can have students search for an item that is about one inch in length or an item that could hold about two cups of liquid. You can also use metric measurement.
- Geometry: Have students search for examples of polygons, three-dimensional shapes, and angles.
- Money: For this scavenger hunt game, have each student bring a bag of coins to the online classroom meeting. Call out different amounts of money (such as $2.11) and have students use their coins to create the amount you call out.
- Even and odd numbers: Tell students to find an even or odd number of the same item.
- Factors: Give students a number (such as 20) and have students search for something that represents a factor of the number you call out.
Virtual ELA Scavenger Hunt:
There are also lots of great ways to reinforce ELA skills with a virtual scavenger hunt. For example:
- Genre: Call out a literary genre. Then, students should look for an example of the genre. They can find a book, magazine, newspaper article, or online article.
- Vocabulary: Call out a vocabulary word. Then, students should look through reading materials to find the word. Have students share how the word is used in the sentence they find.
- Simile or metaphor: Have students search for an item to represent a simile or a metaphor.
- Rhyming: Say a random word and have students search for an item that rhymes with that word.
- Sensory words: Have each student find a random item. Tell students not to show their items to the class. Then, have each student describe their item using only sensory words. As the student describes their item, the other students should try to guess what it is.
More Fun Scavenger Hunt Ideas:
These scavenger hunts do not necessarily reinforce academic content, but they can be used as a morning meeting activity, a way to integrate SEL into your online learning, or just for fun.
- Alphabet: Call out letters of the alphabet. Students must search for items that start with the letter you call out. To make this virtual scavenger hunt more exciting, call the letters out of order so that students do not know what to expect next.
- All About You: Ask each student to find and share an item that describes them.
- All About a Classmate: Call out the name of a student. Ask each student to find and share an item that describes that student.
- Photo scavenger hunt: Have each student find a photo that tells about them. You can have students find photos that express different things such as a favorite family member, a happy memory, or a favorite birthday.
Funny Questions Scavenger Hunt:
My final Zoom scavenger hunt idea is a little different from all the rest. For this activity, tell each student to bring 3 to 5 random items to the online classroom meeting. Ask students to share the items that they select. Then, ask a funny question and have each student select one of their random items to answer the question. For example:
- Congress decides to create a new national holiday. What should the holiday be about?
- You are going to the moon and can only take one item with you. Which do you pick?
- It’s your teacher’s birthday. Which item would you give her as a gift?
- You are stuck on a boat in the middle of a lake. Which item do you use to row back to shore?
- Which of your items would be the best topic for a new television show?
- You’ve been invited to dinner at the White House. Which item do you take with you?
- You’ve lost your hairbrush. Which item could you use to brush your hair?
- Aliens arrive on Earth and you have been asked to present them a gift. What do you give them?
- You are opening an online store. Which item will be your biggest moneymaker?
A Zoom scavenger hunt (or any type of virtual scavenger hunt) is a great way to engage students and review content in an online classroom setting. If you’re looking for virtual scavenger hunt ideas, print this page. Then, you can quickly refer to it when you need an activity for an online lesson or something to fill the remainder of your time while teaching remotely. I hope you and your students enjoy completing these scavenger hunts!